Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daddy Daughter Night 2012

Daddy's girls. Enjoying a night out with Daddy...full of laughs, yummy food, Shirley Temples, giggling and special moments to keep forever. Love my husband for investing in his kids. The pictures tell you just how much fun they had :)

Monday, January 30, 2012


Well, I made it through the four day weekend class. It was awesome. It was true overload. But I am so glad I got it done. I am now a DONA trained doula. I have to be present at a few births before I am certified. I am feeling a bit weary. Just from the busyness of the weekend. I met some amazing women. It is awesome to know that they will share the same field as me...some right here in my area. Now, I am going to try to get myself together. The weekend flew by and now we are back to our regular school week. Thanks for all your beautiful comments. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today is the day

So today is the day. A long time desire is going to be fulfilled and it is only God who is allowing it to happen. Today I start my training as a birth doula at our local college. So, first, what is a doula? Is that what you are thinking? I am sure. Most people ask. It is a person who comes into a women's birth and supports her to have the most natural birth and to meet her expectations for her birth. Kind of like a coach, but not really. You are there to support mom, husband and baby. You are there for them to meet the goals and expectations for their birth.
I wanted to do this years ago, but it just wasn't the right time. But now we are coming to a new place as a family where I can leave for a few minutes. It's a nice place. And yes, my first priority is my husband (who is fully supportive), my children, my home. But at the same time I am falling into place to where God wants me. It is exciting to see where he will take me. I love working with women, and babies. It is my life passion. You know when you get to that place where you know you fit...that's where I am. I am so thankful to God for opening up these strategic doors.
The most amazing thing about this, is that if you knew me 20 years ago...fifteen years ago...you would not know me. Never would have I thought I would do this. Never did I think I would be a lactation counselor. I didn't even breastfeed my first baby. But now, because of allowing God to mold me, change me and heal me of past hurts I am becoming who he wants. I still have a long way to go, but I am moving in that direction. It's exciting. And let me tell you, it is a struggle to not allow those old thoughts, and garbage to rise up in me. That old person was molded by the world, not by the Lord. So, he takes one layer off at a time. Peeling away. Loving totally and unconditionally. It's beautiful.
I will keep you updated. So excited. God is so good!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two Pugs Snug in a Rug

I had to post this picture that I took yesterday. That's Mia in the back and Edward with his big tongue hanging out. But the most important thing is the bed they are sleeping in is Edward's. They both got a new bed for Christmas...placed sweetly in front of the Christmas tree. Edward rolled in his like a kid in a candy store. But, I guess Mia didn't think hers was cozy enough. Because she has now taken up residence in Edward's bed. Sometimes she is by herself and other times she is with him...which is what I caught on the camera yesterday. These pugs sure have a comfy life here at the Reynolds Nation.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I have so many things to be grateful for. This wasn't the best week for me. Lots of firsts, which I never had to venture in before and didn't plan to. Life goes on, and how we deal with it can make or break us. Well, nothing is going to break me. I will continue to pursue The Father for all my days. And he has shown me over and over that He loves us and wants the best for us. So, instead of making a list this time I just want to lift up my hands, my head and my heart to HIM. The most awesome God. He is my hero.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Already?

Thinking of having a quiet Thursday. Yesterday I had my first ever, and hopefully last, root canal. That was fun! Haha! Actually it didn't hurt and except for some small pain afterwards I feel fine. But, while I was getting my root canal, my little buddy William fell splat on his face. He was sitting in the chair with his hands and feet in his shirt, lost his balance and didn't have his hands to catch him...splat...smack... face first. One ER visit, CAT scan later he is fine. Doctor thought his nose was broken, but I guess the angels kept

his face from hitting that fast. So, I am thankful. But what a full day. I was exhausted from the morning, so I took a teeny, tiny nap in the afternoon before swim team. Matt made dinner, thankfully, and then it was a quiet night. Matt, Bryn and I watched the movie "Babies." Not sure if you have ever seen it before. It was cute. No speaking. Just a simple documentary-like movie of four babies born at the same time but raised in different places on the planet. It was fascinating to see how different we all are, but live in the same time period. Check it out on Netflix if you haven't seen it. So today will be a catch up day from yesterday. One day gets me behind so easily. How is your week going?

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Time For Everything

I had to take a moment and document my little joo joo bee's first day at speech therapy. Way back last summer we started the process to get him evaluated for speech. Though he is quite the talker, he drops most first consonants from his name...like, y ame is Udah...in other words, My name is Judah. Though we can understand him most of the time, it has not corrected itself, which is what we were waiting and hoping for. So, after many tests from the school district, he started speech therapy twice a week. This is a picture of him on his first day. He of course loves it...just me and him on the way and through the school. And since I don't have anything to do when he is in there for the 30 minutes, I am volunteering in my best friend's classroom for that time period. Might as well as use my time wisely, and Jessica can always use an extra hand in the classroom. So, this is the latest adventure for the Reynolds Nation. Hoping he won't have to be there very long, but it will make next year's start of Kindergarten (and reading) so much easier for me. My little man is growing up :(

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tennessee Trip Part 5 The End

One last photo...of the sunset we got to look at every night. I loved the porch...to sit on the swing or the rocking chair and just watch....aaahhh!

I had to post this picture. This was Caleb's favorite spot. He didn't like the cold weather too much...so his answer to that was to always sit in front of the fireplace. He was working on his word search that he got for Christmas.

One of our favorite days is when the Ellis family (our dearest friends ever) came to see us. They live in Asheville, North Carolina (only an hour away East) and they spent the day with us. It was awesome to hang out, to laugh, to play and just to have fun. It's so hard having them live so far away, but we will forever be friends!

I am going to end all the pictures. Hope you didn't get bored. I wanted to write down so much, so that we remembered them. Life goes by so fast, and I want to keep all these memories. After we left the cabin we headed over to Cleveland, Tennessee. Which is where I went to college, Lee University. I love this town. I love this town. Can I say it again? I love this town. It feels like home. I graduated from there...lived there for four years. So many memories. Friends are still there. Our old church is still there. This is where we thought we may move to. But God has different plans and that is okay. It's great to go back and visit. And see all the great places. It was the GREATEST vacation ever for us. When we got home, we felt so rested and refreshed. I still feel like that. It felt good. We realized that a vacation doesn't mean that you have to run around the whole time. You can just enjoy each other, relax and recharge. After this trip, I felt ready to hit 2012 head on. This is going to be a great year for the Reynolds Nation...just watch us now!

Friday, January 13, 2012

End of the Week

My house is quiet...and it's ten in the morning. Such a rarity around here. The kids breezed through their schoolwork and are watching a movie. Fridays have a tendency to be lighter...spelling tests, exams, quizzes, reviews...so the time goes by faster. And then we usually do a craft and the piano lessons. So, since this week there isn't a craft, we are done until piano lessons.
It was our first week back since Christmas break. Sometimes it has a tendency to be a bit rough...adjustments after three lazy weeks are hard. But the kids did fantastic...except for a rough start reading again for my first grader, we had a really smooth week. Caleb had a fabulous week! Because of his disabilities he has a hard time making changes...that's why Monday's are hard, coming from the weekend and after holidays can be the worst. But, not this week. Yeah Caleb!!! So, our plans got changed for the weekend...so, that means we have nothing planned. Yahoo! Relax time around here. The house is clean, laundry is done...I am loving this Friday. I hope you have a fantastic weekend. I will be finishing up our trip series...and then we will be back to normal life. I am not sure what normal is...lol...but it's a great attempt!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tennessee Trip Part 4

Though it's a little fuzzy, you can take a peek at how high we were on the mountain. This was our mountain for the week. The only souls up there (except for maybe a few bears). It took us several days to be able to spot it on the road, but we did. This was an awesome part of the cabin...we were totally isolated. Away from it all. No neighbors. This is just what we needed for our relaxation.

On the fourth day we headed up to Ober Gatlinburg. It was a crazy, windy road on the way up there. And boy, it was COLD. The wind was whipping and this was the first time I was a bit chilled. Since there wasn't any snow, except a bit of the man made stuff, there wasn't any skiing going on. But we did try out the Alpine slide. They got to go up in the chair lift to the top of the slide. Here is when Matt took Judah down. Judah loved the slide.

This is when the girls got down on their first run. Though they were a bit slow the first run (especially Esther), they loved it enough to try again. I think they were brave to try. Some of those people were coming down fast.

Matt took William up...all kids six and under had to ride with an adult. Matt kept them at a pretty nice speed, so they got to enjoy the full extent of the slide.

And my boy Caleb. He took ONE look up that hill and that was enough for him. He said that looks scary...and did he want to go down...with big eyes, "NO." So Caleb hung out with me at the bottom...watching all the sliders come down.

When we first got to the slide we just hung out for a bit....the slide was closed because it had ice on it. So, we took our one picture with the white stuff. Judah looks so happy in this picture :)

My favorite picture from the trip. This was taken outside the cabin. Caleb and Esther look freezing, and Judah and William took off their jackets because they got hot running around. Love this family.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tennesee Trip Part 3

I had to post yet another picture of our beautiful surroundings. We drove up a huge mountain to get this shot. It was so breathtaking. There is just something about the mountains that bring such peace to your spirit!

We went into Gatlinburg on our second day there and visited Ripley's Tennessee Aquarium. It was very nice, considering we were so far from the ocean. I am thankful that my husband had me call ahead, because with our proof of homeschooling we were able to get in for only a 1/3 of the price. The kids had fun looking at all of the sea creatures...and they especially liked crawling through all of the tubes, so the kids could feel like they were in the water.

The gang is all here...ready to be eaten by some large animal. They all had such a great time!

They also had tubes that went straight up. William looks a bit mesmerized by Nemo!

They had this runner that you stood on and it moved you under the sea. We got to look up at Hammerhead sharks, Nurse sharks, Stingrays...it was so cool. Judah periodically would jump off and watch everything. Well, at the end of the moving platform, Judah spotted a large button. He thought it would be cool to press it. It stopped the whole runner and a large buzzer went off. I just looked at the kids and said, "keep moving kids." :0

There faces were full of wonder. Lots of questions and minds were churning. I love moments like these. Mix a bit of fun and school together at the same time.

Little boo boo bear. So cute. Here he is on the side of the mountain at the cabin. I think the high for that day was 35 degrees...so he was bundled up.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tennessee Trip Part 2

I thought I would post a few pictures of our lovely cabin. Our little piece of heaven. This was a dream come true. I can't believe that we were able to do this, and to be so blessed with the most beautiful cabin ever. For those of you who are interested, check out http://www.cosbycreekcabins.com/ and you will find the company that we went through. They were totally welcoming every time you called, the cabin was furnished beautifully and it was super clean. And when one of the televisions didn't work the first night, they were out there in three hours to fix it. It was awesome!
This space was one spot that the kids spent a lot of time in. They loved the big jetted bathtub in the master bedroom. Every day Judah begged to have a bath with BUBBLES. We bought some bubble bath for the trip and we almost used the whole bottle. The little kids swam in it, splashed and had a good time. A lot of times I would fill the tub when they were in the outside hot tub so that when they came in the house they would jump in this one. I could have definitely brought this home with us.

Here I am the first night with William and Esther. I was tired after a long day, so I hunkered down in the beautiful master bedroom. The kids watched a bit of television and I coasted into dream land. The girls had their own suite upstairs and the boys had a futon couch that pulled out for them to sleep on in the living room. This cabin slept eight people, so there was more than enough room for us.

Matt snapped this picture so you could see the beautiful craftsmanship of the cabin. The cabin was only a few years old and it stood by itself on top of a mountain. There was a gate on the bottom of the hill that took you to the cabin on the top, after a crazy, scary ride up.

Here is the whole living room and dining room area. We had the fireplace running constantly and we spent so much time together here (as you can see Caleb made his own spot in front of the fireplace. He wasn't too keen on the cold weather ). It was lovely. We played checkers, cards and we put together a 500 piece puzzle. The main goal of this trip was to relax and we fulfilled that need.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tennesee Trip Part 1

Our destination...above! This was the view from our cabin...on top of a gigantic hill...or may I say mountain. After 10 hours in the car, this was just beautiful to see.

Here were our two traveling companions, Barney and Diego. Who knew that one day I would travel with a purple dinosaur and a little Spanish boy...haha? Judah and William couldn't go anywhere without these two. They are very well traveled. So, on a pit stop in South Carolina, I made them known to the world that they were with us too.

We hit rain almost the whole way up there...when we got to the mountains it cleared up a bit. This was one of the views that we had on the way up. Since Matt and I LOVE the mountains, this made our hearts soar. It was so beautiful.

So close. I think this picture was taken outside of Asheville. We took a quick pit stop there to see a friend...who was not there...but that was okay. We got to see where they live and had some lunch.

Road weary travelers. After many movies, a few arguments and some laughs we got there. Matt took this when we were there just a few minutes. The fire was on, and our time there began. When we walked into the cabin, we all just screamed with excitement. We couldn't believe how nice it was. When you dream about a cabin, this met and surpassed all of those dreams. We couldn't believe that we were there. It was so beautiful! Notice that two of my kids (Matt and I were too) are wearing flip-flops...not exactly normal footwear for this time of year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In the Quiet

I am sitting here in a very quiet house...strangely enough where there are seven kids and four adults. We crashed at our friends the Bevan's for two days in our old stomping grounds, Cleveland Tennessee. Our trip is coming to a close...which is a good thing. It actually didn't speed by because we really did relax and just enjoy. I am so thankful for that...this was not your high speed Disney vacation. This vacation was just what the Reynolds Nation needed. And today we are supposed to do a bit of shopping and then back to the sunshine state.
Now, most of you didn't know this...but Matt and I were seriously thinking about moving up here. We love Tennessee and this is city fits us like a glove. We have old friends here, a great church...and we LOVE Tennessee. And we really don't care for Florida...that isn't a secret. So, after our cabin days this week...we came to spy out the land in Cleveland and see what the Lord would have to say. And yesterday afternoon, Matt and I both looked at each other and said, "this isn't for us." We admitted it..which was so hard, because we really do LOVE it here. But we return today, knowing God isn't quite finished with us in Florida...and he may never be...and that is okay...because I would rather in be in the worst place in the world and in His will than in paradise and out of his will. I feel totally at peace about this. And so does Matt...so we return to Florida expecting God to move in many areas of our life and to see him work.
Until then...we will be on the road again and I promise to get some pics up for you this week. It's been a blast...cheers...and here's to a fantastic 2012!!!